Vegas Summer League 2012: Jared Sullinger and Players with Most to Prove

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent IJuly 14, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 31:  Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts after the Buckeyes lose to the Kansas Jayhawks 64-62 during the National Semifinal game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on March 31, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Jared Sullinger is one of the many young NBA players with a lot to prove at the 2012 Vegas Summer League this month.

This league is a great opportunity for second-round picks to prove that they deserve a roster spot next season, so you can expect the action to be very competitive.

Let's look at three players with a lot to prove in Las Vegas.


Meyers Leonard, Portland Trail Blazers

With very few quality centers available in free agency, the Portland Trail Blazers would love for first-round pick Meyers Leonard to shine at the Vegas Summer League and prove that he can be a starting center as a rookie.

If Leonard can show he is capable of playing good low-post defense and can score inside with some impressive post moves, then he could boost his stock tremendously ahead of next season.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte Bobcats

If the Charlotte Bobcats are going to improve in any way from their abysmal 2011-12 season, second overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist needs to have a fantastic rookie season.

Kidd-Gilchrist must prove that he is physical enough to be effective in the paint against stronger competition at the NBA level. Beating defenders off the dribble and creating his own shot won't be as easy in the pros as it was in college for the young forward.

He must show Bobcats fans that he was worthy of the No. 2 pick, because he could easily be one of the most important players on their roster this season.

Kidd-Gilchrist cannot afford to struggle early on, so he must take the Vegas Summer Camp seriously and use it to further develop his phenomenal skills.


Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics

Concerns about his back caused Jared Sullinger to slip to the Celtics in the draft, and he will need to prove his back is fine and that his lack of athleticism won't be an issue in the NBA during this month's summer league.

The Celtics are looking to get younger this season, and since the team doesn't have too many talented young big men, Sullinger should get a decent amount of playing time for a rookie.

Sullinger has so much to prove in the offseason, and his performance at the Vegas Summer League could tell the Celtics a lot about his readiness for the NBA.